About GEAR UP Iowa
Funded by a $16.8 million Federal grant, GEAR UP Iowa (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is charged with significantly increasing the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission administers GEAR UP Iowa in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education and other state agencies; local school districts; postsecondary educational institutions; and community organizations, businesses, and industries.
Each year the Iowa College Student Aid Commission prepares an Annual Report for the Iowa General Assembly. View 2010-2011 Annual Report
Serving Students and their Families
GEAR UP Iowa works to create a "college-going culture" through statewide and school-based services to a cohort of approximately 6,000 high school students and their families in 18 communities across Iowa. GEAR UP Iowa serves students and their families in the communities of:
Unique to the GEAR UP Iowa state grant is a $16.8 million scholarship fund for use toward postsecondary education that will be available to the entire cohort upon graduation from high school in 2014. GEAR UP Iowa offers further scholarship opportunities through our college partners and the Iowa Treasurer's Office to assist our students and families in financing their postsecondary education goals.
Creating a "College-Going Culture"
GEAR UP Iowa's three-pronged approach to the creation of a "college-going culture" in Iowa funds initiatives designed to strengthen academic achievement, increase academic aspirations, and raise college awareness. The program encourages young people to have high expectations, study hard, and pursue success in college. Services to GEAR UP Iowa schools, students, and their families include:
- Professional development opportunities for teachers, counselors, administrators, and school staff
- Supplemental academic offerings including after-school, weekend, and summer academic programs
- Academic mentoring and tutoring
- student, family, and community outreach programs
- College visits and tours for students and their families
- Job shadowing, career fairs, and internships
- scholarships, financial awards, and reduced tuition
- Financial literacy education for students and families
- Student, family, and community educational programs about the college search, application, and enrollment process
- College / career counseling, SAT / ACT preparation, and college application services through www.ihaveaplaiowa.gov
The success of GEAR UP Iowa relies on a partnered network of community and government organizations, high schools, colleges, universities, individual community members, and families who believe that "with the right approach, postsecondary education is possible for all Iowans."